All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
My daughter, Kelsey, recently ran a half marathon. To say I am proud of her would be a huge understatement. Keep in mind, this is not someone whose dream was ever to run farther than she had to, but one day, about six months ago, eight of her college friends got together and decided they were going to do this. In the end, there were only two of them that started and finished the race.
For those two, it wasn’t about running the 13.1 miles, it was about completing a goal. After the race, Kelsey told us how tired she was, but how great it was to finish and attain such a huge accomplishment. I asked her if she remembered any of the six months she spent training her body to be able to carry her this far and she, of course, replied: “Not really.”
It is human nature to remember success, but we almost always minimize the greatness around the hard work itself. This is true for leadership, but most importantly, for life.
If you were to ask a woman who just had a baby if she would do it again, she will almost always say no on that day. But, if you wait even just a week, it’s hard to imagine not being willing to go through anything for that baby. You see the amount of love and the beautiful result and, all of a sudden, you don’t remember the pain. (…or so I’m told).
The things that are the hardest are almost always worth doing. They often take a lot of work, but the reward makes it all worth it.
However, if you’ve never experienced that level of success, it makes it hard to be willing to pay the price when you don’t know what that’s going to look and feel like. A leader’s job is to paint the vision of not only what we have to do, but why we need to do it and how great it is going to feel once the mission has been accomplished. A leader must share what the value of the end results are in order to bring people willingly into the hard work.
In a world of instant everything, where it’s even difficult to wait for two-day shipping on Amazon, a leader must differentiate the why. Successful people are always motivated to get through the “how” and the “what” for a great “why.”
Question: What is the “why” that makes you not only willing, but excited to put in the hard work?